How to educate children to eat healthy is a challenge for every parent. The reason is, it takes patience and proper application to be able to form healthy eating habits in children. Want to know how? Come on, check out the discussion in the following article.
Introducing a healthy diet to children from an early age is very important to do. In addition to meeting nutritional needs, healthy food consumption is also good to support growth and prevent children from various diseases.
Well, by understanding how to educate children to eat healthy, you can form the habit of the little one to live a healthy lifestyle until he grows up.
Introducing Children to Healthy Food Types
One of the keys to meeting a child’s nutritional needs is to introduce them to different types of foods. If a child is too picky about food ( picky eater ), he will be at risk of malnutrition.
When eating, teach the Little One to understand the benefits of each type of food at the dinner table. For example, tell them that fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that can prevent them from many dangerous diseases. You can also tell the Little One that healthy food can make his body tall, strong, and agile when active.
Also give the Little One the understanding to reduce foods and beverages that are high in salt or sugar, such as fried foods , potato chips, sweet cakes, and fizzy drinks . You can explain to him what the bad effects of the food are on health.
How to Educate Children to Eat Healthy Food
In addition to giving explanations to children related to healthy and unhealthy foods, there are also ways to educate children so that they get used to eating healthy foods. Here’s how:
- Do not scold or forbid the child directly
Scolding the Little One or directly forbidding him from consuming high -fat and unhealthy foods, such as fried foods, chips, or candy, will only make him more curious and tempted by those foods.
Instead of banning it, you should limit it slowly and focus on trying to make the Little One like healthy food .
Some examples of healthy foods you can provide are vegetables and fruits, skinless chicken and duck, fish, low-fat dairy products , lean meats, or whole grain breads.
- Be a role model
Children are great imitators. If you want your little one to eat healthy, you have to give a direct example. For example, by eating fruits and vegetables while eating with the family. Thus, the Little One will see that his parents also implement a healthy diet on a daily basis.
- Adapt to the child’s nutritional needs
Seeing a child hungry to eat is fun. However, make sure that the food intake does not exceed the daily caloric requirement to prevent excess weight .
Generally, children and adolescents need 1600–2200 calories per day, depending on gender, age, and type of activity. Well, getting a child used to eating vegetables and fruits can prevent him from consuming too many high -calorie foods.
- Apply eating rules to children
Sometimes parents have to do various ways to persuade the child to eat, such as feeding the child while playing, watching TV, or doing other activities. As a result, the child becomes unfocused and at risk of overeating.
In order for the little one to have good eating habits, you need to get the child used to eating at the dining table. Limit meal times to no more than 30 minutes.
- Ask the child to prepare food
In order for children to be more interested in healthy food, encourage children to be involved in preparing food. You can plan fun activities, from growing vegetables, shopping for healthy groceries, cooking, to serving them.
Also, get used to choosing food ingredients carefully and reading nutrition labels on food packaging. If you have difficulty in educating your child to eat healthy or your child has weight problems, it is a good idea to consult a doctor to get the best solution.